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The Test

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  1,631 ratings  ·  382 reviews

Award-winning author Sylvain Neuvel explores an immigration dystopia in The Test

Britain, the not-too-distant future.
Idir is sitting the British Citizenship Test.
He wants his family to belong.

Twenty-five questions to determine their fate. Twenty-five chances to impress.
When the test takes an unexpected and tragic turn, Idir is handed the power of life and death.
How do you v

Kindle Edition, 112 pages
Published February 12th 2019 by
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3.94  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,631 ratings  ·  382 reviews

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Emily May
Feb 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, 2019
Why was I so quick to judge this man? I must be nervous, myself. There is a lesson to be learned here. We are all more alike than we think.

What. The. Actual. Fuck.

The Test is basically a Black Mirror episode in novella format. This tiny book is packed full of social commentary, insights into human behaviour, and a whole bunch of mindfuckery. It's best read in a single sitting because you won't want to put this one down.

The reviews vary on this one as to how much of the plot people are giving u
شيماء ✨
[Ryan Bergara's voice] This week on Buzzfeed Unsolved we’ll take a look at the disappearance of my emotional stability!

The Test surpasses my wildest definitions of fucked-up. I don’t know how yet but I’m going to blame Neuvel for all my problems. Starting with the fact that I'll be eligible for French citizenship in three years and reading this dystopian novel about a massively messed up citizenship test--to be charitable--freaked the shit out of me.
Emily (Books with Emily Fox)
Mar 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019-releases
(3.75) This novella gave me Black Mirror vibes and if you're looking for something quick and messed up you'll enjoy this!

In a dystopian version of our world, to emigrate to the UK, individuals have to pass a test. It's not exactly the type of test you would expect...

Personally the last bit "after" brought the book down a bit and I would have rather it stop earlier but still a book I would recommend!
Feb 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
wow. this novella is everything right with short stories.

its such a simple concept, but so intelligently executed. and probably one of the most interesting stories about human behaviour and psychological profiling i have ever read.

the subtle sci-fi aspect also totally gives 'black mirror' a run for its money. its so well thought-out and really packs a punch.

i am thoroughly impressed.

4 stars
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
Feb 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars. This story gutted me. It will haunt me for a while. Review first posted on Fantasy Literature:

Since I fell in love with Sylvain Neuvel’s Sleeping Giants, I’ve been curious to see what he would write next. The Test is an excellent novella, quite different from THE THEMIS FILES trilogy, though some similar themes are touched on and there are similarities in the narrative technique.

I went into reading The Test totally cold, without reading even the blurb ― just knowing that Neuvel wrote
Oct 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
ARC provided by the publisher——in exchange for an honest review.

The Test is simple in concept and smart in execution.

I’m not a stranger to Neuvel’s work. I loved Neuvel’s Themis Files trilogy and I found the last book of that trilogy, Only Human to be highly enjoyable due to the philosophical discussions that Neuvel implemented. I’m glad to find that The Test retained his relatable and thought-provoking philosophical discussions. I didn’t know anything about this book when I received it,
destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]
I am on my knees. I have been here before. I have been thrown to the ground and I have felt the tip of their guns on the back of my neck. I have been through this and I have survived. We will survive. All of us.

In The Test, we follow Idir Jalil, an Iranian immigrant who's looking to pass the British citizenship test so he and his family can stay in the UK. Despite the pressure he's under — because, as he quickly lets us know through his own memories and back story, there's so much at stake fo
I’m not entirely sure what the hell I’ve just read, but this managed to absolutely blow me away in terms of twists and turns very early on. Without giving too much away, what starts as an immigration test decends into something far more realistic, and terrifyingly possible.

It’s an examination on a future Britain that seems at once incredibly believable and tangible. A way to test and justify fairly who can enter the country in a near-technologically advanced universe. It’s fast paced, morally a
André Oliveira
Mar 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this in one sitting. What happened.
To become a citizen of the UK you need to finish a test. Can you pass it?

I couldn't stop reading!! The themes and the ideas are so interesting and scary, everything at the same time!

Can we have a Black Mirror episode with this story, please?
A disturbing but not unbelievable premise underlies this story about the dehumanization of the immigration process instituted in a near future Britain. I keep wondering why Neuvel chose that particular location as a setting?

I'm still not thoroughly impressed with Neuvel's technical execution here. It's a step away from the documentary/interview format he used in the Themis Files, but is still a bit lacking as a narrative piece.

The Test is very short and impactful, if predictable, and so I woul
System justification is the idea that many of our needs can e satisfied by defending and justifying the status quo. It gives stability to our political and economic systems because people are inherently inclined to defend it. It prevents people at a disadvantage from questioning the system that disadvantages them, makes people buy the inevitability of social inequity, ignore or support policies that hurt them.

The Test is a short and thoroughly devastating story, from the very talented author Syl
Shaun Hutchinson
What. The. Fuck.
Kayla Dawn
Mar 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was so fucking interesting and it definitely makes you think.
Well, this was fucked up. While I never continued Black Mirror after the first episode (no thank you), if it’s really like this than I’m not even sorry, I don’t think I’m ready for this.
may ❀
i was,,,,,,,,,,not expecting that

sylvain neuvel is out here trying to ruin my life and make me rethink my convictions, what else is new?

honestly this short story was so weirdly messed up but wow was it something.

i kind of wish it was written as a full length novel bc i was left with SO MANY UNANSWERED QUESTIONS and there are so many ideas that i think could have been presented in a much powerful way if they were given more page time

but at the same time do i really want to experience this in f
Chihoe Ho
Dec 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
With comparisons to Black Mirror, I was prepared for some effed up story. So I thought. The Test is everything like a Black Mirror episode, throwing one curveball after another. It's twisty and provocative, challenging readers on their philosophical viewpoints on immigration, technology, and sacrifice. It is quite the memorable novella that is almost all too possible, making this timely story all the harder to read.


The most hard-hitting thing was probably how disturbingly deep-rooted racism is in our society so as much as that discourse fucked me up, it also made me think about a lot of things in that regard


Holly (The Grimdragon)
Releases 2.12.19.

“Imagine you just escaped the zombie apocalypse and watched all your friends being eaten alive. Now I’m asking you which fabric softener smells nicer.”

Do you like Black Mirror? Well buckle the fuck up, because this novella is essentially a shortened episode. It’s Black Mirror on speed.

I was riveted from the beginning and read this all in one sitting (it also doesn’t hurt that it’s quite short!)

This is about Idir Jalil, an immigrant from Iran. Idir and his family moved to the UK
Mar 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2019

This was such a unique and powerful story in such a small little book. It brought up so many psychology questions I’ve asked myself or people ask in hypothetical situations. But the most unique part was it showed how much trauma can affect someone and the consequences of experiments
Patricija - ReadOff
TW: Violence, murder, PTSD, torture
Guys, I just finished this and I am in shock. This is an action-packed novella with only 100 pages but what a ride. Neuvel continues to amaze me. I don't want to give too much away, because it short so I'll only say this: Neuvel keeps bringing up difficult subjects and he just makes you think. Also, hands up for the realistic representation of PTSD.

More on my blog:
Esentially Exam meeting Black Mirror and shifting focus from a group of people to an individual.

The psychology was interesting but felt superficial; all the 'keys' to the story are revealed way too early on, so sadly I predicted the entire outcome; and there are way too many moments of cheap sensationalism for such a brief book. I digested this in less than an hour, but have ultimately been somewhat left down.

Was it readable? Certainly. But has it been done before, and better? Yes. Was it unpre
I was too self-conscious to openly celebrate, but when the Gunners scored, this hulking giant of man grabbed me by the shoulders and squeezed me like a sponge. It was the first time I felt like I belonged, like I was truly welcome.

This short story packs a punch. It starts off so good, as in happy, and that’s probably the worst part. Idir is an immigrant who must pass the BVA, the British Values Assessment, exam to gain citizenship for himself and his family. The technician breaks some rules and
Delaney Felix
Nov 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2018
4.5 stars!
Wow. This is the first I’ve read of Neuvel’s, even though Sleeping Giants has been on my radar for AGES.
The first thirty pages had me hooked, and then that twist!
This is a short novella following Idir as he takes a citizenship test for him and his family. However, there’s a shocking twist and a series of events afterward that will pull at your heartstrings.
This could (theoretically) be a scary future for humanity as a whole and I really enjoyed the unique take on this subject.
I high
Whoa. As other reviewers have said, this is basically a Black Mirror episode on book form. If that sounds good to you, I recommend this book--and that you go in as blind as possible!
Feb 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is like Black Mirror in a novella format (~100 pages). It spiked my heart rate, gave me anxiety, made me question humanity, and go WTF at the end. Highly recommend!
Dec 31, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
(Follow @morganreadsalot on Instagram for more reviews)
Thank you to for a free copy of this book.

Holy poop, man! You may remember that I absolutely love, love, love Sylvain Neuvel’s Themis Files trilogy, so clearly I needed to do whatever was necessary to get my hands on this novella before its February 12th release date. Thanks to the amazing people at I didn’t have to beg, borrow, or steal. Okay, maybe I begged a little.

I’ll admit that i was a little bummed out when I saw jus
Milana M (acouplereads)
If I could've given this 10 stars I would've.
Lisa Wolf
The audiobook version of this novella is a quick, engaging listen. The set-up is a bit obvious, and while disturbing, ultimately the plot doesn't quite have enough depth to make this a great listen/read. Still, I enjoyed it enough to recommend it for when you need something short that will keep your attention start to finish.
Mar 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very intriguing!

Very quick read, 74 pages. Not at all what I had imagined it would be based on summary. It's a very unique fictional presentation of a timeless philosophical debate: good vs evil, and what makes someone either, or? How would you determine the criteria?

I thought it was creatively provocative but still light enough to be an entertaining read for anyone!
Jun 18, 2018 marked it as i-need-2019  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
I'm halfway through Sleeping Giants and I already know that I NEED this one too. Gimme, Gimme.
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YA Buddy Readers'...: The Test by Sylvain Neuvel - Starting the 7th of March 5 13 Mar 04, 2019 06:38PM  
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Sylvain Neuvel dropped out of high school at age 15. Along the way, he has been a journalist, worked in soil decontamination, sold ice cream in California, and peddled furniture across Canada. He received a Ph.D. in linguistics from the University of Chicago. He taught linguistics in India, and worked as a software engineer in Montreal. He is also a certified translator, though he wishes he were a ...more
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“System justification is the idea that many of our needs can be satisfied by defending and justifying the status quo. It gives stability to our political and economic systems because people are inherently inclined to defend it. It prevents people at a disadvantage from questioning the system that disadvantages them, makes people buy the inevitability of social inequity, ignore or support policies that hurt them.” 1 likes
“When faced with a choice, humans almost invariably seek a no-action, no-change option, even when one of the presented alternatives is quantifiably and logically more advantageous.” 0 likes
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